Pelco Building selected for 30th Emeryville Art Exhibition

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The Park Avenue District, long hailed as the Arts District for the city, will host the 30th Emeryville Art Exhibition it was announced today in the below press release. The Pelco building at 1550 Park Avenue has been cleared out and is in the process of being touched up to make way for the over 125 pieces by local artists and craftspeople who live or work in Emeryville.

The roving art exhibit has shifted around the city throughout the course of its 29 years of existence including multiple Bay Street locations and most recently at a Grifols Warehouse. The exposed brick, industrial columns and high-ceilings of this location are an art curators dream. The building was originally the Air Reduction of California built in 1917 that manufactured oxygen tanks for welding. It is earmarked to be converted to a 23 unit live-work condominium project although this hasn’t been formally approved by the Planning Commission.

Volunteer and curator Kathleen Hanna walked us around the expansive space that includes at least four separate, unique areas.

With the dedicated space negotiated at the Sherwin-Williams development, the occasional Open Studios at the Artist Coop and of course the Landscape and Nature Photography of Pacific Landscapes Gallery, we may be finally seeing the Arts District that was envisioned in the General plan (and maybe one day The Center for the Arts that was stalled by the loss of redevelopment).

There will be a gala public reception with the artists in attendance on Friday, October 7, from 6 pm to 9 pm, with live music by The doRiaN Mode: Vintage Jazz & Blues. A no-host bar will raise funds for the Emeryville Youth Art Program.



PRESS RELEASE: Emeryville Celebration of the Arts, Inc., is proud to announce the opening of the 30th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition, a juried show featuring works of 125 artists and craftspeople who live or work in Emeryville. The Exhibition is on display October 8 through October 30, 2016, open daily from 11 am to 6 pm, and admission is free. The annual exhibition is held at a different location each year. The 30th Annual Exhibition site is located at 1550 Park Avenue, southwest entrance, generously donated by 1550 LLC. For directions and emery-go-round stop, log on to: www.emeryarts.org or call 510/652-6122.

There will be a gala public reception with the artists in attendance on Friday, October 7, from 6 pm to 9 pm, with live music by The doRiaN Mode: Vintage Jazz & Blues. A no-host bar will raise funds for the Emeryville Youth Art Program.

The East Bay enclave of Emeryville is well known for its active and diverse arts community and this juried exhibition serves as the city’s annual celebration of its thriving collective creativity. Each year a panel of Bay Area art professionals is invited into private studios and art spaces to select the pieces for the annual exhibition. This year, the result is a carefully curated group show featuring the works of 125 artists and craftspeople that live or work in Emeryville. The exhibition is open to artists of all media and includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, furniture, and glass works. Now in its milestone 30th year, the exhibition continues to uncover emerging talent, along with new work by established artists. This annual arts event represents the unique character of Emeryville, a city that is small in size but grand in the scale and spirit of its creative community.

First held in 1987, this exhibition was initially conceived as an event to recognize the City’s active and visionary partnership with the 45th Street Artists’ Cooperative. The Cooperative was able to purchase its warehouse with the aid of a Redevelopment Agency loan and the City played a major role in stabilizing the live/work environment so vital to its creative community. While the concept of the Exhibition began as a celebration of this partnership (and some of the original artists from the Co-op will show new work this year) it quickly expanded to embrace the entire artist population of Emeryville. Now any artist who either lives or works in Emeryville can submit their artwork for consideration for the Annual Exhibition.

The 45th Street Artists’ Cooperative now serves as a national model for artist-owned, affordable live-work space. Emeryville artist and arts advocate Sharon Wilchar is a long-time resident of the Cooperative, serves as its Community Liaison and is a founding member of the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts. She has coordinated the juried Emeryville Annual Art Exhibition for 28 of its 30 years, serves as Chair of the City of Emeryville’s Public Art Advisory Committee, and coordinates the Artists’ Cooperative’s successful artist-in-the-schools program now in its 33rd year in the Emery Unified School District.

“Every day hundreds of artists are working in Emeryville and this juried exhibition is their yearly showcase,” explains Sharon Wilchar, exhibition coordinator. “The positive transformation of our city over the past 30 years is impressive. As a player in enhancing the cultural vibrancy of our city and engaging the community through the arts, Emeryville Celebration of the Arts is proud to have been a partner in this transformation.”

The art and artists of Emeryville continue to reflect the city’s great creativity and diversity. Prominent artists that have contributed to the Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition over the years include photographer Richard Misrach, sound sculptor Bill Fontana, and painter Marc Foster Grant who, with his wife Jeanne Allen, founded San Francisco’s Jeanne-Marc clothing company, among many others. A dozen artist from the 45th Street Artists’ Cooperative, who contributed work to the first exhibition in 1987, will show new work this year – including painters Edythe Bresnahan and M. Louise Stanley, textile artist Ana Lisa Hedstrom, photographer Kim Harrington, and directors and co-founders of Kala Art Institute Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano. All works on display in the exhibition are available for purchase.

Independent curator and exhibition designer Kathleen Hanna is curator and juror for the 30th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition. Ms. Hanna brings a deep knowledge of Bay Area arts and fine craft. “As curator for the exhibition over the last five years, I have been delighted to see ever increasing numbers of artists willing to invite the jury into their studios to show new works that they have created with the exhibition in mind,” stated Hanna.

The other jurors are Philip Linhares, Chief Curator of Art, retired, Oakland Museum of California and Patricia Sweetow, Founder, Spun Smoke and Patricia Sweetow Gallery.

Serving as juror for the third time (his first time was 28 years ago) Philip Linhares brings a wealth of Bay Area art knowledge. He is retired as chief art curator Oakland Museum but continues to curate shows in the Bay Area. “I’ve attended most of the Annual Emeryville Art Exhibitions in the past and have visited many of the artists in their studios during my tenure at the Oakland Museum of California,” said Linhares. “The quality of the work we considered this year was exceptional. I’m sure the exhibition will delight visitors this fall.”

San Francisco Gallery owner/director Patricia Sweetow recently opened her East Bay studio Spun Smoke in Oakland. Inspired by a community of “Makers” her new venture is a studio of artist-made objects that explore the creative areas between function and decoration. Of her experience as juror, Sweetow said “It was exciting to see and learn about the vibrant visual arts community in Emeryville. The range of art making, from ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, fiber, glass, to wood and metal, make Emeryville a remarkable place to discover and celebrate the arts.”

The mission of the non-profit Emeryville Celebration of the Arts, Inc. is to foster an appreciation for the arts and artists of Emeryville, and to promote the city as a culturally vital and progressive center for living and working. Now, in its thirtieth year – the Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition has continued to support this mission by providing a free public venue, open to all, with the opportunity to experience the rich diversity of artistic expression of those who live and work within the city of Emeryville.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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